A new report from scientists operating at the University of Michigan predicts that allergy seasons will be getting longer as the ongoing changes in the planet’s climates continue.
Allergy symptoms range from the merely annoying, such as watery eyes, sneezing or rashes, to more serious problems, that is, trouble with such breathing or anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic reactions can be life threatening.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that 30% of adults and 40% of children in the U.S. suffer from allergies.
Grasses, weeds, and trees — all pollen producers — are affected by climate change. Increased temperatures cause them both to activate earlier than the season to which humans are accustomed and increase the amount of pollen produced.
The researchers at the University of Michigan have U-M developed a predictive model for 15 of the most common pollen types combining projected changes in temperature and precipitation with the data from 1995 – 2014. They have concluded that by the end of this century the annual amount of pollen emitted each year could increase as much as 200%.
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Allison Steiner, U-M professor of climate and space sciences and engineering, said the team expects to continue work on its predictive model and hopes it will become part of “a national air quality forecasting system.”